HasbroToyShop got this into my hot little hands over the weekend. The box is HUGE, the mailer box even bigger, it's madness!
The box is way too empty though, you could fit a second full Vader standing in there with no prob, they're showing a cardboard version of the Death Star plus trays with the real TIE Fighter Minicons and 4 figures yet even that doesn't fill the box very well.
It's very important to note that it's easy to overlook the cape which is attached to the tray in the left! Throw away the tray and out goes the awesome cape.
The instructions do indeed call the TIEs "MINI-CONS™". The TIE Fighters have a little robot head pop up when you push in the core, and they have little tail weapons. Unfortunately, the factory totally screwed up the TIE wing peghole design so they 90 degrees from the way they should which is a shame.
The Stormtrooper minifigs are really sloppy in their deco, I can't actually tell if the sculpt is worth a darn. Vader's sculpt and paint is decent though.
There's a lot of electronics going on here, including several features they don't mention anywhere. They got a voice actor to record several new Vader lines for this thing, he's a little off but passable. Electronics and features, let's start with alt mode:
- there are 4 green LEDs in the superlaser, 3 at the ring and one in the center, the alt mode button sets off 1 of 2 different superlaser sounds and light sequences followed by Vader breathing. The LED at the 12-o-clock position doesn't carry through too well but the others work great, the one under the green center missile does a REALLY good job.
- if you press and hold the alt mode button, 4 different Vader lines go off with the superlaser lights blinking green. (this is not mentioned anywhere)
- open the small hatch at the top of the Death Star and press down on Vader's head to fire the superlaser missile.
- Vader's saber is held inside the cavity, the underside of the missile-launching gun has a cut-out for the blade. (not shown in instructions)
- there are 2 hidden compartments on the Death Star, you can stuff the cape in one and fit all 3 TIEs in the other, but it's too shallow to leave them in assembled.
- the bottom of the Death Star has 4 small fold-out feet to keep it from rolling away.
And in bot mode:
- there's a button above his belt that sets off 4 more lines, the superlaser's LEDs are now on his chest and are BLINDINGLY bright.
- the fabric cape attaches behind the head and flows over the large backpack, it looks really good.
- the superlaser missile launcher detaches and is actually a chibi stormtrooper blaster which Vader can hold in either hand.
- a button on the right forearm sets off a blaster firing sound.
- at that same button, if you hold it the firing sound is followed by an explosion. (another feature not mentioned anywhere)
- insert the lightsaber into the right fist and an LED in the fist lights up the saber while the lightsaber power-up and saber hum sounds are played.
- with the saber in the hand, press the right forearm button and a saber clash sound is heard, a second press does the same, and a third press is a swing sound.
Bot mode is surprisingly poseable and stable, though the waist joint needs the backpack to move out of the way. The head is very striking, the rest is more generic but has a fair amount of detailing. The cape really looks nice. There's a lot of kibble, the stuff on the arms and legs isn't too bad (the forearm ones can be unfolded to act as narrow shields, I suppose) but the giant pieces over the shoulders is a tad much - somehow it kinda works for him though, looks imposing. Nearly the whole Death Star ends up as kibble except for a pair of panels that become the heels of the figure.
Transformation is pretty cheap, the figure positions his arms by his sides, the legs then fold up at the hips and then backwards at the knees, that's pretty much it for the bot, then it's just getting all the shell pieces into position which is quite a chore.
Alt mode is a big ball with a slightly undersized superlaser. The trenches are all there, and strangely painted white, but there's no question this has the look down.
All in all, this is a nifty, albeit somewhat overpriced, set that has some charms and some drawbacks, but a slew of features tips the balance in its favor.